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29 February 2016

5th July 1946: only the weeds will grow!

5 Fri. Very mild, mostly cloudy, but a few weak gleams of sunshine in late afternoon, very stiff, steady SW breeze. Did the usual shopping locally also to Morden to buy fish & cats meat. To Wimbledon in afternoon to buy cups & saucers but none obtainable, but they promised some at Richards for tomorrow. Did much weeding in the garden: the only things that will grow: the things in the garden have never been so late and so poor – a very discouraging year.

28 February 2016

3rd-4th July 1946: pleased with aero model handiwork

3 Wed. Glorious, warm, sunny day. Max. in sun 114 degrees: in shade 84 degs: a fresh breeze tempered the heat. Got the groceries, also to buy fish in Martin Way. Cycled to Richmond through the park – lovely. Saw two deer and two magpies. Started making propeller shaft and bearings for model.


4 Thur. Very mild day after a night of incessant sheet lightning with a little rain. Not much sun to-day. A little shopping locally in morning. More work on propeller shaft, trip and tensioner gear; was pleased with the quality of the work done.

27 February 2016

1st-2nd July 1946: roses for the teacher

1 July. Mon. Warm: up to 79 degrees: some fine sunny periods, cloudy and humid later. To Morden to buy a few things. Finished building the tail of new model and covered it with white tissue. The three children with Ann Conley & Pat Boddy made a short stay.


2 Tues. Very warm 88 in the shade, glorious sunny day with a slight breeze to give a little freshness. Small amount of shopping locally & to buy a paper in afternoon. Doped the tail of aero which needs only the propeller shaft & gear to finish it: a very graceful machine. The three children & Ann called. Gave Gwennie some roses to take to teacher. Watered dear Mother’s grave in evening.

24 February 2016

29th-30th June 1946: cycle, cricket, shop, window-cleaning, model-making... visitors

29 Sat. Very mild, some nice sunny periods but a powerful cool wind made things very trying. Pedalling a bike against it is not easy but I did a bit of shopping nevertheless. Saw a bit of cricket at Merton*. Cleaned most of the windows. Mounted the fin and hinged rudder to tail of new plane.


30 Sun. Very mild, some soft sunny periods, wind still boisterous. Many children called. We had Mr and Mrs Bradley to tea, also Mrs Akroyd. Mrs Conley, Leonard, Victor and Ann came to see Mr and Mrs Bradley.

*The Merton Cricket Club was founded in 1890. http://www.mertoncricketclub.co.uk/ It is based at The John Innes Recreation Ground, Cannon Hill Lane, Merton Park

23 February 2016

27th-28th June 1946: treasured flower from bombsite

Bellbine - or bindweed
27 Thur. Very mild becoming cool: dull, cloudy, heavy rain setting in by evening: stiff fresh breeze from S. Did quite a lot of shopping locally in morning, also to Merton for cats meat. Pruned the gooseberry bushes and applied Liquinure. Weeded the runner beans and sowed some more. There are many failures and as soon as the beans come up they are eaten by snails, the prospects for them are meagre. Pinched out side shoots on tomato plants which have made a start at last. The garden is more than a month late.


28 Fri. Very mild, some moderate sunny periods, otherwise overcast; very strong breeze. Did all the usual shopping: got a nice piece of veal. Also bought fish at Wimbledon. Little Evelyn Baden-Powell came across the road to me and showed me a bunch of Goldfinch Rambler roses she had picked on the bombsite opposite but she treasured most a bellbine flower which is scentless but she was smelling it. I gave her a sweetie. Poor little girl her father died not many months ago; she is so friendly and sweet: she has two baby sisters. Built up the outline of fin and rudder for the new model: a job of very careful and delicate joinery.

22 February 2016

25th-26th June 1946: rationed food - shortages - no soap

25 Tues. Very mild, bright morning, cloudy slight showers later, fresh wind. Started making elegant new tail for the new model. To Morden to buy fish. To Merton to buy balsa cement. Gwennie and Laurie brought some pieces for the cats.


26 Wed. Very mild, a few sunny periods but mostly cloudy. Got the groceries; they could not supply the jam and soap rations and several other things beside. Commodities are still very short. To Morden to buy fish. The children called. More work assembling the tail for new aero. Sprayed fruit and rose bushes with derris. A letter from Ron Cooper to say his wife has a baby girl. Bought a scarlet geranium and planted it on dear Mother’s grave.

21 February 2016

23rd-24th June 1946: posted watch, kitty played, proud of model

23 Sun. Warm, heavy overhead haze, but the sun came through in a dim way; nevertheless a most pleasant day and little wind. Peter Child called as usual also the other children. Short ride to Malden in evening.


24 Mon. Fine, warm, sunny morning: overcast and showers later. Bought fish locally in morning. Packed up Uncle Tom’s watch, wrote him a letter and posted to him. The three children in a boisterous mood called. Gwennie was delighted at the way Norris’s kitten played with a bunch of paper on a string. Finished covering the new wing, doped it – a really fine wing and probably the best I have made. Designed a new tail for this new model. It should be very elegant.

20 February 2016

21st-22nd June 1946:

Kazoos - from Wikipedia
21 Fri. Rather warm, much genial sunshine. To butchers, bakers etc. in morning. To Morden to buy cats meat. Also bought cress seed at Woolworths there and a cazoo* which I gave to Laurie: he made noises on it but is not capable of playing a tune on it: he scarce takes it out of his mouth. Painted the 26 ins fuselage in matt field green – looks really well. Covered in the centre bay of new wing with thin sheet balsa: the wing is almost ready for covering. The three children called also Ann Conley.

22 Sat. Rather warm, some hazy sunshine; genial: rain at night. To Wimbledon to buy fish also a few purchases locally. Sowed cress seed. Started to cover the new wing with white tissue. First day of Test Match. India 200 out England 135 for 4.



* Should have been spelt 'kazoo', with a k. 'A small, simple musical instrument consisting of a hollow pipe with a hole in it, over which is a thin covering that vibrates and adds a buzzing sound when the player sings or hums into the pipe. - Oxford English Dictionary.


19 February 2016

19th-20th June 1946: cats meat & scrambled egg

19 Wed. Very cool, very dull, rain till late afternoon, fitful skies & showers later. Got the groceries and a few other things locally in morning. Fitted aluminium hooks to aero wing – used for binding wing to fuselage which later I stripped: it needs a slight repair. Prepared living room for the chimney sweep.


20 Thur. Very mild, some nice sunshine also heavy showers & slight thunder in afternoon. The chimney sweep to do the living room chimney. Did some preparation work also some cleaning up afterwards. To Merton to buy fish. Bought white tissue, clear dope and green dope at Normans. Covered 26 ins fuselage with white tissue and doped it: it came up very tight – like a drum. Gwennie brought some meat for the cats. She was very bright & rather excited, gave her a taste of scrambled egg we were having for dinner: she likes a piece off the plate.

18 February 2016

17th-18th June 1946: two bananas as present

17 Mon. Cool, cloudy, dull; very stiff breeze. Bought fish locally. Also to post office to buy postal orders and stamps. Cut the lawn. Finished trimming the evergreens in front garden. Gwennie & Laurie brought a banana each for Ciss and I. A letter from Uncle Tom to which I replied. Paid slate club.


18 June. Rather warm, fine sunny morning, but cool cloudy afternoon with showers and some thunder, very windy: the temperature dropped 14 degs by the evening. Did some work in the garden: weeds are growing but otherwise the garden is at a standstill. To Merton & Wimbledon in afternoon to buy a few commodities.

17 February 2016

15th-16th June 1946: my first split, transportable, model aircraft wings - spruce dowels & balsa tubes

15 Sat. Mild, rain all morning, then more showers: cloudy, but a few glimpses of sunshine. Bought vegetables in morning. Bought fish at Merton. Small amount of weeding in garden. Made two balsa tubes and fitted as sockets to aero wing. Fitted them, also spruce dowels to other wing so that they can be fitted together or taken apart to take up less room in transport: the first divided wing I have made for myself.

16 Sun. Cool, some sunshine early, but heavy clouds and showers later. Short walk along Coombe Lane in evening to see the front gardens: the roses are coming out better now.


16 February 2016

13-14th June 1946: at last... a pudding basin!

13 Thur. Very mild, fine genial sunny day but overcast by the evening with some distant thunder. Did some gardening including a further sowing of beetroot also thinning out my special marigolds. The children called: gave Gwennie two roses and Laurie some red, white & blue roundel transfers to put on the wing of his glider. More work on the new aero wing.


14 Fri. Very mild, fine, genial, sunny day. Did the usual Fri. morning shopping, also to Morden. In afternoon to Worcester Park & Malden and finally managed to buy a pudding basin in a shop the other end of Grand Drive. Met dear Gladys: she is wonderful. Met the three children as I was coming out of the sweetshop so there was no escape.

15 February 2016

11th-12th June 1946: flew model glider on bomb-site

11 Tues. Cool, very dull & cloudy, rain on and off all day, very rough, chilly wind. To Morden to buy fish: also the chemists and a few purchases locally. The three children called also Victor & Ann Conley. Small amount of work on aero.


12 Wed. Rather cool, heavy, fitful clouds; some thunder at times but less wind. Got the groceries locally. Bought fish also balsa cement at Merton, oh and dried green peas. Made a 17 ins spar balsa glider for Laurie: quite a shapely little model which glides splendidly. Gwennie and Laurie flew it on the bomb space for some time and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Thinned out onion seedlings also beetroot seedlings.

14 February 2016

9th-10th June 1946: Whitsun

9 Whit Sunday. Cool, very dull and cloudy; rain commencing late. A number of children called: Clifford was excited when he fingered a recognizable scrap of tune on the organ – one finger. Amused Peter Child & Victor Conley with a puzzle. Met Arthur Swift while walking on Cannon Hill Common. Also met Audrey Child and Jennifer with a bunch of buttercups and clover.


10 Whit Monday. Cool, very dull & cloudy: rain on and off most of the day; slight thunder in morning; chilly wind. Did more work on the new aero-wing. Short cycle ride in evening along Coombe Lane. No callers.

10 February 2016

7th-8th June 1946: Victory Celebration Day & fly-past

7 Fri. Rather warm, fine sunny day but dull & cloudy later: the wind has dropped. Tomorrow being Victory Day I spent the morning doing shopping as the shops will then be closed. I stood in queues at the bakers, butchers, fishmongers at the cats meat shop. Accidentally broke the corrugated glass in the scrubbing board so had to buy a piece costing 3/- at Rayner Davis, Merton. Also to grocers, chemists etc etc. A busy and tiring morning. Cousin Maud called in evening: Alan Spooner, on leave, came while she was here. Joy Winsley brought a fuse-bulb for me to test.


Official programme for Victory celebrations
Official programme for the Victory Celebrations, 8th June 1946
8 Sat. Rather mild, very dull & cloudy, rain setting in midday. Victory Celebration Day. Heard the broadcast of the wonderful Victory Procession. Saw the aeroplane fly-past which came this way. Two types of jet-propelled planes took part as well as Spitfires, Hurricanes, Halifaxes, Lancasters, Tempests and Hornets. Anne Conley called in morning and made me very happy. Put top camber on new wing – starboard side. Drew out design for the port-side wing and started to build.

Here: link to Wikipedia page on the part-controversial celebrations.

9 February 2016

5th-6th June 1946: cheque received for war damage

5 Wed. Rather cool, very rough, chilly wind, some weak sun late in the day. Got the groceries also to Morden to buy fish. The three children called also Anne & Leonard Conley: showed them how to make folded paper birds beaks. Fitted several bits to new 39 ins aero wing. We received to-day the cheque for covering the war damage done to our home and the matter is settled save for buying the required articles, some replacements and repairs are already done.


6 Thur. Very mild, some sunny periods, the wind is still rough and chilly. Bought fish at Merton. Bought asters in Wimbledon and planted them on dear Mother’s grave. Also to butchers. More work on wing of 39 ins aero. The three children called.

8 February 2016

3rd-4th June 1946: the start of a new model

3 Mon. Mild, cloudy, very rough cool wind, a few gleams of sunshine. To Morden to buy fish. Bought strips of balsa wood also sheet balsa & cement at Normans, oh, and white tissue. Made a start at building a new model aeroplane wing, having drawn it out in the morning. Gwennie & Laurie called, dear Gwennie is so charming.


4 Tues. Rather cool, dull, cloudy, showers, rain setting in later; very rough chilly wind. Bought fish locally, also drawing pins: took accumulator. Sowed lettuce seed. The crimson paeony has 19 gorgeous blooms on it. Mr. Evans the landlord & a decorators estimator saw the house with a view to having it done.

7 February 2016

1st-2nd June 1946: bother Alb visits

1 June Sat. Rather mild, cloudy, heavy showers, cool rough SW wind. To Wimbledon to buy fish, got caught in a heavy shower. Aunt Liza called. Would like to make a new model aeroplane: had a look at what balsa wood I had in stock – very little.


2 Sun. Rather mild, very cloudy and rough but a few glimpses of the sun. Gave Laurie a 12 ins. propeller mounted on a shaft and handle: he ran all the way home with it revolving merrily in the wind. Alb called in evening. Lily and Anthony having gone to Basingstoke he took the opportunity of coming. Mrs. Akroyd came to tea.

6 February 2016

30th-31st May 1946: fish and music

30 Thur. Very mild to rather warm; the wind is now SW: some pleasant sunshine. To butchers. Bought a dozen zinnias at Merton and planted them on Dear Mother’s grave. Gwennie & Laurie called when we were having dinner. I gave Gwennie a piece of my sausage meat – she liked it: children love to have a piece from off a grown-up’s plate.


31 Fri. Rather cool, cloudy, rain till late afternoon: stiff cool breeze. To butchers, bakers etc. all local shops: bought nice piece of smoked cod fillet 1/10. Played the two Beethoven Sonatas also made another rather better attempt at the Waldstein.

5 February 2016

28th-29th May 1946: aeroplanes, roses & jam

28 Tues. Cool, dull, rainy morning: mild sunny afternoon. Bought mustard seed. Bought fish in Wimbledon. Gave Laurie a book of aeroplanes.


29 Wed. Becoming very mild; drizzle till late afternoon when the weather cleared up a little. Got the groceries including a 2 lb. tin of melon and ginger jam: sounds attractive. The three children called: Gwennie got a promise out of me that I would give her some roses to take to her teacher when I have got more in bloom: that is a pleasure any way. The rose at the front door looks nice to-day.

4 February 2016

26th-27th May 1946: deluge!

26 Sun. Rather cool, dismal, grey, overcast; a few spots of rain. A number of children called. Did not go out.


27 Mon. Rather cool after a night of deluge: dull & cloudy but a little sunshine late in the day. Bought fish at Morden. Prepared ground for & sowed mixed cornflower seeds. Had to tie up some plants in the garden beaten down by last night’s deluge.

3 February 2016

24th-25th May 1946: sentiment & romance

24 Fri. Rather cool, dreary grey day. Did usual shopping locally also to Morden. Bought “Mammoth Orange” calendula seeds: sowed some. Looked through a large number of old letters they always affect me and make me romantic. The three children called, Gwennie in her Girls Life Brigade uniform – very important.


25 Sat. Rather cold, stiff fresh breeze, a few feeble gleams of sunshine in morning. To Morden, Cheam and Malden after cats food but got none. Bought some at Merton later. Bought a white gardenia hat flower at Woolworths for Ciss. Had myself weighed at Woolworths 10st 10lbs in my overcoat. Sowed cress seed. Took daffodil bulbs from Mother’s grave; planted a white geranium; will plant other summer flowers soon.

1 February 2016

22nd-23 May 1946: manure and cake

22 Wed. Very mild; pleasant sunny day: little wind. Got the usual groceries locally. Bought birthday card for Uncle Tom also fish among other things. Bought hop manure for garden and applied some before sowing crimson globe beet seed. Finished the lawn: looks nice. Gwennie, Laurie and Donald brought some of their mother’s birthday cake.


23 Thur. Very mild, some hazy sunshine, pleasant. To Merton to buy 8 tomato plants – Moneymaker: they cost 5/-. Planted same in afternoon in a bed of Wakeley’s Hop Manure. Gwennie & Laurie called: Gwennie is getting more playful than ever. Got the groceries also to butchers. Posted letter & birthday card to Uncle Tom. Bought fish for pussies.